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Tri-County EMS offers free Stop the Bleed kits

Tri-County EMS has assembled Stop the Bleed kits to hand out free of charge to anyone in the community who needs one. Each kit includes gloves, absorbent gauze and tourniquets, as well as a flyer containing first aid tips. The EMS will also provide free training on how to use the items and the best methods for controlling bleeding. Submitted photo

The Tri-County Health Care Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is championing a Stop the Bleed initiative in Wadena, Todd and Otter Tail counties. The goal is to provide free resources and education to the public on how to stop life-threatening bleeding following an emergency or man-made or natural disaster.

"Major bleeding is the second-leading cause of death from injuries," said Mike Ittner, Tri-County EMS manager. "However, anyone can save a life at a scene if they know what to do."

The EMS has assembled Stop the Bleed kits to hand out free of charge to anyone in the community who needs one. Each kit includes gloves, absorbent gauze and tourniquets, as well as a flyer containing first aid tips. Upon delivery of the kit, the EMS will provide free training on how to use the items and the best methods for controlling bleeding. Ittner especially recommends keeping Stop the Bleed kits near AEDs.

Victims of a massive bleed can die within five to 10 minutes if it isn't controlled. Serious bleeding could be caused by a number of incidents, including falls, shop accidents, car crashes and man-made or natural disasters.

Stop the Bleed kits allow bystanders to immediately begin controlling a bleed until emergency responders arrive.

"The more blood we keep in the body, the better chance a person has of surviving," Ittner said. "This Stop the Bleed campaign will help us further increase safety for the public, and we hope community members will take advantage of these free kits and training."

Funds for Stop the Bleed kits were contributed by the Wadena area VFW, American Legion, Lions, Elks, St. Helen's Episcopal Church, First Congregational United Church of Christ Lamson Fund and the Tri-County Health Care Foundation.

Tri-County Health Care is a private, not-for-profit healthcare system in Wadena. To request a Stop the Bleed kit, call Ittner at 218-631-7464.

For more information, visit bleedingcontrol.org.

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